The Six Books of the Hexaemeron (The Six Days) by Ambrose


In his Hexaemeron, Saint Ambrose treats the six days of creation. In this manuscript, written in the Benedictine monastery of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg), Bavaria, the six days are illustrated with full-page pen drawings; another representation of the creator resting on the seventh day concludes the cycle. Representations of the Hexaemeron appear from the late 11th century onwards as a new subject of Romanesque illumination, above all in Bibles or in liturgical works, such as choir books and missals. The Ratisbon school of illumination, responsible for this work of art, however, was famous for the illustration of elaborate theological themes, and, unsurprisingly, the cycle is here transmitted in an exegetical text. Its favorite medium was line drawing, which reached its highest point in Ratisbon in the 12th century. The drawings of the Hexaemeron are impressive in the monumentality of the representations, and in the delicate use of variously colored inks in red and violet or red and brown.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Ambrosii hexaemeron libri VI

Type of Item

Physical Description

183 leaves : parchment


  • BSB shelfmark: Clm 14399
  • This description of the work was written by Béatrice Hernad of the Bavarian State Library.

Last updated: October 17, 2017